Tap into Quebec’s on-the-job training programs

Would you benefit from a skills upgrade program in your shop? Are you carrying out business in Québec and do you intend to pay wages to trainees, apprentices and supervisors of those trainees? If so, then you may be eligible to recover the cost of qualified expenditures incurred while operating your training program. These expenses include salaries for both the trainee and the supervisor for a period not to exceed 32 weeks. In the case where training is conducted at a location other than the establishment where the person usually reports for work, travel expenses may also be refundable. Training conducted at an educational institute might also be eligible for reimbursement.

Workplace Apprenticeship Program

The Workplace Apprenticeship Program is the most common of these approaches. The program is designed for voluntary-qualification trades, i.e., trades that are not subject to a specific government regulation.

The program is based on experienced workers (referred to as “journeypersons”) passing on their know-how and skill to apprentices, i.e., co-workers who have yet to acquire or have only limited skills in the trade they hope to practise.

At the onset of the program, an “apprenticeship booklet” is developed which specifies the specific skills the apprentice needs to master. Details about the apprentice’s progress are also recorded during the apprenticeship within the same booklet.

To participate in the Workplace Apprenticeship Program, the potential apprentice must be at least 16 years of age and be employed in Québec in one of the trades found on the website link below.

Advantages for employers

  • Profit from pre-structured training based on your company’s needs and the real-life practice of the targeted trades
  • Become more competitive by increasing employees’ productivity
  • Tap into experienced employees’ know-how and skills
  • Achieve greater employee versatility and qualification
  • Enhance their credibility and reputation in their sector of activity, retain personnel and train a new generation of workers
  • Potentially obtain significant tax credits

Advantages for apprentices

  • Acquire high-quality training while practising a trade
  • Raise their level of knowledge and competence
  • Promote their trade and their role in the company
  • Increase their versatility and chances for career advancement
  • Potentially obtain official recognition of their skills (certificate of qualification and attestation of competency)
  • For a qualifying Canadian citizen, depending on the trade, become eligible for federal government grants through the Government of Canada Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant, valued at $1,000 and $2,000 respectively.

Advantages for journeypersons

  • Make good use of their know-how and play a decisive role in the workplace
  • Share their knowledge and proficiency regarding the tasks related to their trade
  • Play an active role in enhancing the skills of other employees
  • Enhance their credibility and reputation in their field of endeavour
  • Potentially obtain official recognition of their skills (certificate of qualification and attestation of competency)

Other on-the-job training strategies

The Workplace Apprenticeship Program is not adapted to all work contexts. In those instances, other approaches are available, including:  online training, practical training workshops, mentoring, case studies and simulation exercises.

There is no better time than now to make a commitment to employee skills upgrading. An employee who is provided the opportunity to keep improving their skills set is a motivated employee. To quote from G.P. Smith (Human Resources Management and Development Handbook, 1994), “Why do we need motivated employees? The answer is survival.”   CEOs agree that the most valuable asset that they have as a company is their employees. In this competitive marketplace, it is imperative that your employees keep their competitive edge through ongoing training opportunities.

The government of Québec is willing to financially reward both the employee and the employer for their participation in an approved training program. As with all government programs, there are requirements that must be met by employers, and filing deadlines that must be followed in order to obtain refundable tax credits. Further, training programs must be conducted in an approved manner. To learn more about this opportunity, visit http://www.emploiQuébec.gouv.qc.ca/en/citizens/developing-your-skills-and-having-them-recognized/vocational-qualification/voluntary-qualification/on-the-job-training/ or contact the author.


Elliot Schiller is a Director at Toronto’s Teeger Schiller Inc., a firm specializing in government funding and systems selection/implementation. His clients receive over $5 M annually to support ongoing business innovation. E-mail eschiller@teegerschiller.com, visit www.FundingHelp.ca or phone 1-888-816-0222 Ext. 102